Economy

Judiciary revenues up 10pc to Sh2.6bn as fines, fees rise

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Chief Justice Martha Koome.

The Judiciary collected Sh2.66 billion in fines and court fees for the year ended in June 2023, translating to a 10 percent growth boosted by the adoption of technology.

The State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice report released by Chief Justice Martha Koome last week shows that the revenue grew from Sh2.43 billion in the 2020/21 financial year to Sh2.68 billion in the 2022/23 financial year, an increase of Sh245.55 million.

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The report also revealed that courts also collected Sh197 million in interest on deposits.

The report further revealed that deposits made to courts as security before a case is concluded increased by Sh1.36 billion from the previous financial year to Sh8.05 billion.

The Treasury gives an annual revenue target to the Judiciary. In the just concluded financial year, the Judiciary Receiver of Revenue was given a target of Sh2.4 billion.

Court revenues consist of fees, fines, penalties, forfeitures, and other charges including revenue from disposal of stores.

The funds the Judiciary collects are transferred to the exchequer Central Bank account.

Other revenue categories include interest earned on court deposit accounts and rents from leasing of government property.

Court fines are penalties imposed by courts upon the determination of court cases. Fines also arise from forfeiture of legal deposits due to non-adherence to bail and bond terms or conditions.

The court fines may at times be reinstated and refunded to the litigant upon a successful appeal.

“The court fines were the major revenue component for the Judiciary revenue at Sh1.42 billion, which was an equivalent of 53.33 percent,” the report said.

The fees collected amounted to Sh1.03 billion, equivalent to 38.64 percent.

The Sojar report noted that there has been a progressive increase in revenue collected over the past three financial years.

The report further noted that the total revenues collected for last three financial years exceeded the targeted revenue set by 1 percent, 13 percent and 28 percent respectively.

The Judiciary attributed the increase in revenue collection to the adoption of technology. The report said the Judiciary implemented Case Management System (CTS), electronic filing and the Judiciary Financial Management Information System (JFMIS) in revenue collection.

“The use of online case registration and a cashless payment platform eliminated opportunities for revenue loss,” the report added.

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Further, there has been a progressive use of virtual courts that enabled speedy clearance of cases, coupled with the use electronic fees assessment that led to progressive increase in revenue collection.

The cases filed increased steadily in the past three financial years from 356,997 in the 2020/21 to 404,312 cases in 2021/22 financial year and 423,394 cases in 2022/23.

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